Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Illiberalism of "Liberals"

Sir Godfrey Kneller's portrait of classical liberal philosopher John Locke

This article was inspired by the reading of a piece by one of my favourite authors, Theodore Dalrymple, entitled "The Rosenbergs, Always".

Its subtitle is "Liberals remain soft on Communism."

The problem is that those who today, especially in America, are called "liberals" are not liberal; they are soft on communism because they are cut from the same cloth. The use of the word "liberal" to mean people on the Left originated perhaps from Norman Thomas, six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America, who, according to the newspaper The Spokesman Review of 26 February 1967, said:
The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.
This quote is disputed, but not this other, from a 1951 letter to Norman Thomas from Upton Sinclair, the American author who ran for Congress for the Socialist Party twice and for the governorship of California for the Democratic Party in 1934:
The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.
Also undisputed is the fact that American socialists have tried to adopt other names for themselves, both to diguise the nature of their doctrine and because of American instinctive dislike for totalitarian ideologies like socialism.

Reassurances like the Social Democrats USA's "Social Democracy is a true American tradition" are felt necessary to overcome a natural American diffidence.

This is why US socialist Edward Bellamy inspired the formation of the Nationalist Clubs. The June 1898 edition of the organ for Fabian Socialists in the United States, the American Fabian magazine, observes:
In Bellamy, social science and imagination were combined at their best. He has given us a substantial revelation whose scientific deductions from economic phenomena are unassailable. In the work of speeding the light he has made the valued distinction between Nationalism and Socialism. Nations advance toward their destiny upon lines marked out by the temper of their peoples, the character of their institutions, the conditions of soil, climate, and surroundings. Consequently the forward movement must be by national rather than international pathways. Bellamy saw this clearly, and formulating his Socialism to a purely American applicability, named it Nationalism. What has been the result? We hear no more the philistine cry that Socialism is an alien product. The far-reaching influence of "Looking Backward" has given us a native development of this definite form of Socialism, and has made possible the realization of his dreams in the near future. [Emphasis added]
Whatever one thinks of real liberalism (or socialism, for that matter), classic liberalism is very different from socialism.

To see that it's sufficient to look at their respective concepts of human rights, for example. Liberals view human rights as negative rights, namely freedom from interference from the state or other individuals, whereas socialists and communists see them as positive rights, namely entitlements to the statisfaction of every man's need, following Karl Marx's formula for communism: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Taliban Rejects "Extremism" in Religion

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid

A Reuters article contains the intriguing phrase, intriguing because reportedly it's from the Taliban: "Muslims also should avoid extremism in religion".

Jihad Watch remarks:
The Taliban, in saying this, demonstrate that they don’t consider themselves to be “extremist.” This word is thrown around everywhere, but like “moderate,” no one bothers to define it precisely. Everyone assumes that its meaning is obvious, but it isn’t. It would be useful and illuminating to have a debate between Muslims who support the Taliban and Muslims who oppose it on what constitutes “extremism.” But that will never happen, as it would require honest discussion of Islamic doctrines that Muslim spokesmen in the West are doing a fine job of obfuscating.
It's true: nobody has defined "moderate" or "extremist" in Islam. That's how and why these terms are used to foster the Islamophilic agenda: because they're useless. The fact that the Taliban can use the term "extremism" to dissociate itself from it (and to condemn it), as they don't consider themselves extremist, tells you a lot about the vagueness and consequent inutility of the word.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Ramadan Charity Funds Atrocities

Published on FrontPage Magazine.

By Enza Ferreri

It's Islam's holy month of Ramadan, and many advertising boards in the streets of London - or, more appropriately, Londonistan, as it befits a city with such a large, influential and radical Muslim population - invite Mohammedans to pay their zakat (Muslim obligatory charity).

Zakat donations in the UK have greatly increased in the last few years, and Ramadan is traditionally a time when zakat giving grows.

The posters portray cute kids and people in distress, reminding Muslims of their duty to help them.

How nice. Are these truthful reflections of the philanthropic nature of the "religion of peace"?

Let's see. The problems with zakat are essentially two.

The first is that Islamic charity should benefit only other Muslims. Not exactly a generous spirit embracing all humanity.

The Quran teaches:
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. (48.29)
This is after all consistent with the rest of Islamic teaching, which cautions Muslims against befriending infidels:
Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah. (Quran, 3.28)
Islamic law forbids zakat from being used to help non-Muslims.

WikiIslam reiterates:
There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that zakat cannot be given to non-Muslims, as mentioned by Ibn al-Mundhir, Kasani, Ibn Qudama, Buhuti, and others.
Muwaffaq Ibn Qudama, a great Hanbali Imam, says in his Mughni:

'We do not know of any difference of opinion among the people of knowledge (ahl al-`ilm) that zakat on wealth cannot be given to a kafir' Ibn al-Mundhir said, 'There is consensus of all those whose positions we know from the people of knowledge that a non-Muslim (dhimmi) cannot be given any zakat.'
Christian refugee victims of the flood that devastated Pakistan in 2010 know this part of Islamic doctrine even too well. They were denied aid largely donated by the post-Christian West - which didn't seem to care very much about this politically correct form of discrimination - unless they converted to Islam.
“The tireless work of Caritas continues in all directions, in every diocese and without discrimination on the recipients,” said Bishop Max John Rodrigues of Hyderabad. “In the diocese, we help everyone. Many religious and Catholic volunteers are working in the area. I see a lot of solidarity: Muslims, Christians, and Hindus are united in suffering.

As far as the aid brought by Islamic charity groups, they defend themselves by saying that according to their doctrine, the money from the zakhat (Islamic alms) should go only to Muslims,” he added. [Emphasis added]
Similarly, the prohibition also explains why the contribution from Muslim countries to the Haiti 2010 earthquake relief - since Haiti has almost no Muslims - was puny, and the aid from one of the US largest Islamic charities, LIFE for Relief and Development, was used just to build mosques in the Caribbean country.

And that's not all. Non-Muslims can in some cases be allowed to receive charity donations, but only to attract them to Islam:
Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise. (Quran, 9.60) [Emphasis added]
Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid says:
It is permissible to give regular charity – not obligatory charity (i.e., zakaah) to poor kaafirs, and to exhange gifts and with them and treat them well to soften their hearts towards Islam. [Emphasis added]
This is a candid peace appeared in the United Arab Emirates’s The National, for example:
One hundred new converts to Islam will each receive an equal share of Dh1 million donated by the Zakat Fund. Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, is a mandatory tax for every Muslim who is financially able to contribute. It is calculated at 2.5 per cent of financial assets, but has different rates for a variety of other sources of wealth, such as livestock and minerals.

New converts are one of eight broad categories defined as deserving recipients of zakat in Islam.
The second problem with zakat is even more serious. It's not enough that Muslim charity does not do any good to the rest of the human species; it's also meant to do it harm.

Of the eight broad categories of recipients of zakat referred to in the above quotation, one merits our close attention.

The Quran's verse 9.60 quoted before lists as recipients those "in the way of Allah". And this is what it means:
Zakat can be given in the path of Allah. By this is meant to finance a Jihad effort in the path of Allah, not for Jihad for other reasons. The fighter (mujahid) will be given as salary what will be enough for him. If he needs to buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam.
The classic manual of Islamic law Reliance of the Traveller couldn't be clearer:
h8.7 It is obligatory to distribute one's zakat among eight categories of recipients (O: meaning that zakat goes to none besides them), one-eighth of the zakat to each category...

h8.17 The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people's families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).
One of the most prominent Islamic scholars, Shaykh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, currently listed as 31st of the world’s most influential Muslim figures according to The Muslim 500 - an annual publication compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in the United States - was quoted in an article entitled "Spending Zakah Money on Jihad" as saying:
If war is waged anywhere to achieve this goal, namely to free the occupied lands of the laws and the tyranny of disbelievers, it is undoubtedly a case of Jihad for the sake of Allah. It thus needs to be financed from the money of Zakah...
During a BBC Panorama programme of a few years ago - whose interesting title "Faith, hate and charity" left no doubt concerning what faith we were talking about - Qaradawi was described as "a favourite of the [then] London Mayor" Ken Livingstone, who truly welcomed this supporter of jihad to London, "a city of all faiths" (and no hope).

Qaradawi's followers in London, the BBC reporter John Ware explained, included the fugitive Hamas commander Mohammed Sawalha (no doubt a title of honour), and his following in the Middle East was so big that the good doctor had his own talk show on Al Jazeera. "He makes no bones about the relationship between charity and politics", Ware added.

During the documentary Qaradawi volunteered:
I don't like this word "donations." I like to call it jihad with money. Because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money.
This is the theory. The practice is even more explicit.

Earlier this month it emerged from India’s Intelligence Bureau accounts that the Islamic charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been diverting for terror activities the funds it raises and has used charity money to fund the Mumbai 26/11 attacks of 2008, in which over 160 people died. This dossier is even more significant in the light of the recent ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa imposed by the United States.

Among the recipients of "jihad charity" is also ISIS.

Recently, British-based charity Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) has been banned from operating in Israel as suspected of funnelling cash to Hamas. According to Israeli officials, IRW activities in the Palestinian territories are run by Hamas operatives.

IRW receives money from institutional donors, government funding, individual zakat donations and affiliates around the world, including Islamic Relief USA (IR-USA), praised by Obama.

It's not the first time that IR-USA, the largest US Muslim charity and sponsored by major American corporations like Microsoft and General Electric, has been accused of funding Hamas.

In America, the majority of the charities that have been investigated for financing terrorism were found guilty. According to Shariah Finance Watch,
The largest Islamic charities in the US were shut down and prosecuted for funding terrorism.

The fact is, Islamic charities fund Jihad through the system of zakat simply because Shariah–Islamic Law–says they must.

It is not unlikely that we’ve just brushed the surface on this activity in the West.

Only recently, for instance, has the British Charity Commission begun to earnestly scrutinize Islamic charities for material support of terrorism.

How widespread might the problem be?
How indeed?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

UK Taxis Showing Support for Caliphate?

London black cabs

There is a rumour that taxi drivers in the UK are putting black ribbons on their aerials or bonnets to show support for jihad and the new caliphate.

I haven't found any online news media source for this. The original source I found is the Bournemouth English Defence League.

The advice, if you see these taxis, is to take photos and number plates and report them to the local council. Vlad Tepes also suggests asking the drivers why the ribbon is there.

It may seem trivial, but small things can have a much more profound effect than it may appear at first sight. We should take a lesson from the "zero tolerance" policy enacted by Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York, who was in office from 1994 to 2001.

In an effort to eradicate crime from the city, his policy consisted in responding to any infraction, however insignificant. Graffiti and broken windows were among the things not to be tolerated any longer, as doing so was giving the offenders the wrong signal - a weak reaction from the authorities - and therefore encouraging them to go on to more serious offences.

"Zero tolerance" was highly effective. The reduction in crime in delinquency-ridden New York City during the 1990s was astonishing: “one of the most remarkable stories in the history of urban crime,” according to University of California law professor Franklin Zimring.

H/t to Vlad Tepes

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ethiopian Man Does What We Should Do: Expose Foreign Aid

Ethiopia's Gambella region

It's not just the comic - but in reality tragic - waste of public money from both the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Legal Aid system.

It's also the umpteenth confirmation that the money given to Third World countries as foreign aid helps local tyrants to better oppress their people. And it's one of those very people now who is saying it not only in words but also in actions, so convinced he is of it as to be prepared to sue Britain. "Ethiopian farmer gets legal aid... To sue us for sending aid to Ethiopia: Case that will be funded by taxpayers branded as 'ridiculous' by MPs":
Ethiopian man launches taxpayer funded legal action against British Government despite never having set foot in the country.

Farmer claims ministers are funding a one-party state in his homeland that has helped regime inflict 'brutal treatment' on thousands.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer's lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development.

Legal action has been branded as farcical, bizarre and ridiculous by MPs angry he was able to lodge court documents before law change...

The 33-year-old Ethiopian – granted anonymity to protect his family – says ministers are funding a one-party state in his country that has breached his human rights. He says foreign aid helped the regime inflict ‘brutal treatment’ on thousands of farmers driven from their land, against the International Development Act 2002.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer’s lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development, in a case that could cost tens of thousands of pounds. This is in addition to the £1.3billion Britain has sent to Ethiopia since 2010...

Papers lodged earlier this year state he had to leave his family and flee to a refugee camp in Kenya after being beaten and tortured trying to protect his land. The UK has contributed to a £510million Protection of Basic Services fund which has allegedly ‘contributed’ to the programme of displacing the farmers.

O [the farmer] is not personally seeking compensation, but wants the Government to change its aid policies and stop bankrolling brutal regimes. If he succeeds, ministers could be forced to review donations to other nations accused of atrocities, such as Pakistan and Rwanda.
Stopping bankrolling Pakistan would be an excellent idea, as I have written before in this blog, and indeed even better would be to isolate Pakistan as it was done with South Africa.

What is particularly ironic in this story is that it was the drought and famine crisis in the country in question, Ethiopia, that in the '80s inspired Bob Geldof and other pop singers to launch Band Aid, so that Ethiopia became the symbol of these misguided efforts to help the Third World.

Punishment Is Good for You

Inmate in a British prison

Leftists - namely the socio-communist end of the totalitarian bloc, the other being the Nazi-fascist - keep telling us how terrible, inhumane and even ineffective prisons are.

The truth, as usual, is the opposite of what they say.

Not only prisons maintain offenders in the impossibility to offend while the sentence lasts and, if there is a high probability of punishment (which, alas, is not the case in Britain now), the criminals' knowledge of arrest and imprisonment acts as a deterrent, making jails the most effective way to reduce crime, so they are good for the innocent. They are also good for the guilty, the criminals themselves.

Theodore Dalrymple, who knows a thing or two about the subject, declares that they are the delinquents' own version of the rehab centres of the rich and famous.

Dalrymple, with his decades-long experience as psychiatrist in prisons and hospitals of underclass neighbourhoods, knows what he's talking about, unlike the many socio-communists who've never come even close to the squalid realities they are so fond of pontificating about. He writes:
He was thin and malnourished in the manner I have described. Five feet ten, he weighed just over 100 pounds. He told me what many young men in his situation have told me, that he asked the court not to grant him bail, so that he could recover his health in prison—something that he knew he would never do outside. A few months of incarceration would set him up nicely to indulge in heroin on his release. Prison is the health farm of the slums.
Indeed prisons are not the only punishment which is good for both the punished and everybody else.

Children and teenagers have become a health threat. If you are on a London double-decker bus and a school or another large group of kids get on the bus, you will be subjected to such amount of high-decibel screaming noise that you'll risk becoming deaf.

My neighbour's two toddlers use loud screaming and screeching as their main, nearly only, form of communication.

In addition, their favourite game is to throw all sorts of things, from toys to shoes, from rubbish to clothes, into our garden, which borders theirs.

Kids are kids, of course. But it's the responsibility of parents to educate them, indeed to socialise them, so that they don't grow up as total savages.

Anti-spanking fanatics are just that: fanatics.

Spanking doesn't hurt the child, physically or psychologically, and is an essential tool of communication between adult and child when the latter is still not capable of understanding certain words and concepts:
For most children, claims that spanking teaches aggression seem unfounded. Some studies suggest that aggression is more closely linked to permissiveness, negative criticism, and watching television than spanking, and even more so than even abusive physical punishment.
What do children have to do with prison inmates, you may ask. Not much. We are just talking about the way the mind works.

The whole learning process of animals, including humans, is based on a system of rewards and punishments.

What is worse: to spank a kid or to render the whole population of the world deaf?

Noise is of course not the only problem here. Children who grow up without discipline will become the sort of antisocial adults who throw litter in the street, show no respect for the others, are rude and in not-too-extreme cases become criminals, in short the kind of adults that we see more and more numerous around us. From the same source:
With spanking bans have come increased rates of child abuse, aggressive parenting, and youth violence.
In this, as in many other cases, the Christian teaching is the best:
Today's outbreak of out-of-control children can be directly traced to the failure of parents to discipline their children. Modern advocates of "timeouts" and similar forms of discipline miss the essential point that God intends spanking to underline the cause-and-effect relationship of disobedience and punishment. Swift and firm parental punishment is the necessary means of teaching children that their disobedience will not be allowed, and that they will be brought into obedience, one way or the other.

Of course, the Bible refers to punitive corporal punishment, not to injurious abuse. Parents should learn the method of judicial spanking, never using spanking as a demonstration of anger or wrath. As a judicial act, the spanking should be administered in a serious, private, and sober way by a parent who teaches the child that this punishment is necessary for the specific act of disobedience. Spanking is judicial in the sense that it is not the result of a parental loss of temper, nor of a parent's whim, but of moral necessity.

Of course, parents should inflict sufficient pain to make the point clear, and to make certain that the child fears the punishment. The very act of spanking affirms parental discipline, and humbles the spirit of the child. The pain is real, but temporary. The lesson must be equally real--and far more enduring.

Healthy discipline must emerge from a healthy family life and from the loving relationship between parents and children. Parents tempted to find an easier or less controversial method of discipline must realize that timeouts and grounding are generally more counterproductive and frustrating than anything else.

The attacks on spanking are thinly disguised attacks on parental authority. If current trends continue, Christian parents may find themselves forced between obeying the law of the land or the law of God. Who knew that parenting in the 21st century would require such courage?”

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Caliphate Means Constant War on Us on a Scale Not Yet Seen

A jihadi flying the black flag of Islam in the city of Raqqa, Syria

While the British government is making its own citizens pay for the jihadis allowed to return to the UK from Syria and Iraq, both in terms of money – through the £1.1 billion cash injection for defence announced today, £800 million of which will fund an extra investment in intelligence and surveillance to deal with the threat of terrorism – and in terms of intrusion and greater state power – through emergency laws to monitor phone and internet records “to stop terrorists" –, people hear of the establishment of a caliphate in the Middle East without the media – with few exceptions – providing any explanation of its real significance.

In Islam, only a caliphate has the authority to declare offensive war on infidel countries. That's why Osama bin Laden was so keen on it and called for Muslims to "establish the righteous caliphate of our ummah", after Abdulhamid II’s Ottoman caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Republic of Kemal Ataturk in his secularisation (short-lived) attempts in 1924.

And that's why jihadis always explain their acts of terrorism in terms of defensive war, as a response to the infidel's armies occupying Muslim lands, for example.

Egyptian-American scholar of Islam and Middle East history Raymond Ibrahim over 3 years ago explained the caliphate concept and predicted the re-establishment of a caliphate. If, as in science, accurate predictions confirm the validity of the theory from which they derive, we must take his words very seriously:
The very existence of a caliphate would usher a state of constant hostility: Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate is obligated to wage jihad, at least annually, to bring the “disbelieving” world under Islamic dominion and enforce sharia law. Most of what is today called the “Muslim world”-from Morocco to Pakistan-was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate begun in Arabia in 632.

A caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy, not a temporal enemy that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions — economic or otherwise. Short of agreeing either to convert to Islam or live as second-class citizens, or “dhimmis” – who, among other indignities, must practice their religions quietly; pay a higher tax [jizyah]; give way to Muslims on the street; wear clothing that distinguishes them from Muslims, the start of the yellow star of David required for the Jews by the Nazis during World War II; have their testimony be worth half of a Muslim’s; and never retaliate against Muslim abuses-the jihad continues.

A caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish – before people realize what it represents and try to prevent it. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.
Another US expert on Islam, Robert Spencer, has recently written:
And now it [the caliphate] is here, although it is by no means clear, of course, that The Islamic State will be viable or long-lasting. If it is, however, the world could soon be engulfed in a much larger conflict with Islamic jihadists even than it has been since 9/11. For in Islamic law, only the caliph is authorized – and indeed, has the responsibility – to declare offensive jihad against non-Muslim states. In his absence, all jihad must be defensive only, which is why Islamic jihadists retail laundry lists of grievances when explaining and justifying their actions: without these grievances and a caliph, they have to cast all their actions as responses to Infidel atrocities. With a caliph, however, that obligation will be gone. And the bloodshed in that event could make the world situation since 9/11, with its 20,000 jihad attacks worldwide, seem like a harmless bit of “interfaith dialogue.
Offensive jihad to force all the world to submit to Islamic law is a duty for the ummah (the worldwide Muslim community), and no amount of media whitewashing can change that. The source to consult is not The New York Times but the Quran:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (9:29)